Newt Gingrich: Test every Muslim in U.S. to see if they believe in Sharia
By Sophie Tatum, CNN July 15th 2016
Washington (CNN)Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday called for the U.S. to test every person with a Muslim background to see if they believe in Sharia law, and deport those who do.
“Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be. Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported,” Gingrich said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door.”
His remarks came in light of a terror attack in Nice, France, where a large truck plowed through a crowd, killing as many as 80 people. The driver’s motivations are not yet known.
Muslims and experts on Islam quickly criticized Gingrich’s comments.
“Apparently a lot of people who know nothing about Islam are now experts on Islam and sharia, telling Muslims what their religion actually says,” tweeted Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
While Sharia is often defined as “Islamic law,” there is no single book of jurisprudence followed by all 1.6 billion Muslims. In fact, there are varying interpretations and legal opinions — called fatwas — most of which concern rituals, family matters and personal spirituality. In that way, Sharia is similar to Jewish law, and Israel is among the countries that allow Sharia courts, noted The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.
Omar Suleiman, a popular Muslim scholar in Dallas, took a defiant stance toward Gingrich’s comments.
“Newt Gingrich, I’ll make your job easier for you: I believe in every single tenet of my faith,” Suleiman wrote in a Facebook post. “Because of that, I speak against extremists overseas and extremists like you and the fraud running for President. You can try to deport me now.”
Gingrich followed up on his remarks via Twitter Friday morning.
“Amazing distortions of my interview on Hannity last night. I will do a lengthy Facebook live later this morning n the issue of sharia,” Gingirch tweeted. “We clearly need three patterns dealing with Islamist terrorism: for people seeking to get into America, those with green cards, for citizens.”